W.O.O.D. – 1 February 2020


This is another of the W.O.O.D. series of semi-regular
Weekly Occasional Open Discussions.
(i.e. if I forget and skip one, no big)

Immediate prior one here:

and remains open for threads running there (at least until the ‘several month’ auto-close of comments on stale threads).

Canonical list of old ones here:

For just general FYI notices, use to “tips” pages. All the old ones remain for historical reference:
Tips Pages

What’s Going On?

Brexit – Is Over! (Sort of…)

Legally, The United Kingdom is now out of the E.U.

Now begins an 11 month period (until the end of the year IIRC) during which “terms” are negotiated. If nothing comes of it, a hard BREXIT on WTO terms. I hope Boris is up to the task of getting favorable terms and NOT being Exit In Name Only.

Likely this section will dropped going forward as I expect “nothing much” to happen for about 9 months…

2019-nCoV Corona Virus is Rampant

Declared a Global Health Emergency, the current thread on it is here:


Additional threads are added as the time to load becomes too long.

Australian Fires

I Guess “Global Warming” is over since it rained… So unless there’s something I’m not aware of, it looks like this is another issues that’s over and done. For now.

Impeachment Follies

I’d really hoped I could say that this, too, was wrapped up, but last I looked it was not. The vote to not continue the Stupid Shiff Show with an endless parade of “New! Shocking! Bombshell!” faux “witnesses” has been shelved via vote.

After that, I thought we’d rapidly go to “Acquitted – it’s over”, but no… Seems The Defense Lawyers want some added time to touch up their closing arguments, then there’s the Caucuses in Iowa on Monday and POTUS State Of The Union on Tuesday. So last rumor news report said closing arguments and vote likely Wednesday.

IF I get the time I’ll upload a nice screen grab showing the Trump Rally YouTube feed with 34,000 views and the Senate Show with 2,000 as people just stay away in droves and want this over.

As the only thing to do now is wait, I’m not opening a new thread until something happens, if something other than acquittal happens…

Going For Woke

So far Picard is not too over the top with Wokeness. It looks to me like there’s bits of it that were not possible to remove (central bits of prior plotline and all) but that the re-shoot toned down a load of it.

I watched the 2nd episode and it was OK. Not great. Not bad. Not real Trek. Has 2 gratuitous F-Bombs in it (both by female characters just to prove women can be crude and obnoxious too…) and Picard has emotional stability problems (they give a plausible brain defect / condition so he gets to act all moody without dissing the old Picard character).

I don’t think that is going to wear well, but we’ll see. Plot Stupids include a Romulan infiltration of The Federation HQ (what, no Tribbles left around?). So just why would an empire who’s home planet was destroyed and who’s empire is in ruins spend the few remaining resources infiltrating the largest power in the galaxy that had tried to help them? Never Mind… Then canon gets ignored a few more times. Sigh.

Snow Season & Cold

Kazakhstan got slammed, thread here:


But hey, it’s only weather, right? Right?

Crop Failures

There’s rumors of food / feed shortages around the world. I’ve seen reports that the USA is the only game in town for Maize Corn now. (Ice Age Farmer video). I know that beans are having issues as I’ve seen the shelves being a bit thin on stock. OTOH, at COSTCO last week they had a pallet each of Pinto’s and Peruano beans. (So I bought a bag and made soup! ;-)

I know, I know: You are not out of food until the shelf is empty then you are fully out, so looking at the shelf doesn’t tell you what is coming. But:

I watch the Doom! Starvation! video guys, then I go to the grocery store. Shelves are full, top to bottom front to back. Just how am I supposed to feel like it is a famine when I can buy any food I want? Still, I know the crop this year was below normal in several places around the world, and next year there will be a seed shortage. But for now it really isn’t bad at all. So, OK, I’ve got about 3 months worth of “get me past the quarantine” food in the pantry and we’re prepared for being closed in, if needed. If not, I just don’t need to buy groceries for a month or two ;-)

Still, one COSTCO had no dry beans at all. Only the one over near the Mexican side of town did. Is that a shortage or marketing decision? The one without is near where all the Indian Computer Guys live and work ;-) I got a nice lentil curry there. Smart & Final was out of lentils last trip. The Great Lentil Shortage, or just the shipment wasn’t unpacked yet?


Since the nCoV is known to whack older men hardest, and I am one, we’re planning to do something of a self-quarantine as the cases reach the trigger of high risk. Hopefully we don’t run out of stores just as the plague reaches the max cases “in the wild”…

Only thing left to buy is a big bag of dog kibble as “emergency dog food”. Don’t want them eyeing my canned ham any more than usual ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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104 Responses to W.O.O.D. – 1 February 2020

  1. Ossqss says:

    I dumped this on the old WOOD this morning and figured I would cut and paste it here just in case anyone needed it since it kinda disappeared.

    “Here is an interesting tidbit. I may try this a little later on one of my desktops and see what happens.

    Either way, could prove to be useful for some until they cut it off.”


  2. Larry Ledwick says:

    That’s how I upgraded my 3 systems, if you have windows 7 with a valid license key it upgrades with no problem at all. Does not even force you to register, it just validates the W7 key and upgrades.

  3. Graeme No.3 says:

    Some of the fires are still burning near Canberra and in East gippsland.
    South Australia (including Kangaroo Island) are drenched. Port Lincoln had 68 m.m. (2.7 inches) in less than an hour and lost power. So did the main hospital in Adelaide and had to start their emergency diesel generator. Presumably more diesels were required in S.A. as the interconnector to Victoria (that had been supplying due to a shortage from renewables) had 7 pylons blown over.**
    Victoria was having blackouts despite all the “unreliable” *** coal stations running flat out, because the wind farms were struggling to supply 5.4%.
    Rain overnight and today will cool things and stop the fires.
    Canberra had a severe fire in 2003 which got into the suburbs and has apparently NOT done anything to prepare since, but they have a green influenced government. Unfortunately the coming rain should save them.

    **The State wide blackout in S.A. a few years ago was blamed by the Greens on old pylons being blown over. Now these pylons have gone down despite being (at least) 40 years younger, they will have to blame Climate Change.

    ***excuse used last time there were rolling blackouts due to the Labor government and their belief in renewables, esp. the Premier; known in some quarters as Dopey Dan.

  4. Octave Fiddler says:

    ~Tangential topic and question.
    Question; what is a good Windows-centric tool to download a copy of a website, such as executableoutlinesDOTcom ?
    Last night at bible study, we met a remarkable young woman from Singapore, left there Jan 10th.
    She described the secrecy challenges of Christianity practice in China.
    Her approach to prayer was very Job-like, seeing opportunity for good in the terrible CV challenges.
    It turned out that she was essentially the embodiment of the material we were studying.

    She said she had VPN and could access things, but I would like to download all of the material onto a secure USB stick for her, in case they clamp down even more.
    The site owner explicitly releases the material for non-commercial usage.
    I guess the term of art is that I seek a scraper, usable by an idiot.

  5. philjourdan says:

    Larry and ossqss – Windows 7 was so good and so rock solid, I am finding a lot of people just did not want to part with it. But now they have to. HowToGeek has a running series on the free upgrade, so I have been passing it out, Maybe that is the MS plan all along. Make it seem like a steal so everyone does it and they do not have the XP syndrome hanging around.

    And yes, I still have 2 of those around as unlike 7-10, upgrading XP is not as easy since OSes since then have required more assets.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    No idea about Windows. This link claims there is a Chrome plugin:


    Web Scraper is a Chrome plugin which is used for scraping data from a website. It is a good web scraping software where you can get different types of data information, like: text, link, popup link, image, table, element attribute, HTML, element, and many more. In order to use the Web Scraper feature, you have to undertake the following steps:

    Install the Chrome Extension.
    Go to the developer tools by clicking F12 or Ctrl+Shift+I.
    Browse to the Web Scraper tab.
    Click on the button create new sitemap and add the sitemap name and start URL.
    Multiple URL can be added here by clicking the + button.
    In case you want to work with the existing sitemap, enter the sitemap JSON, and sitemap name.
    Then after that the sitemap can be easily imported.
    On creating the sitemap, choose the option to add new selector.
    Here you have to add selector ID, type, selector, regex, delay, and parent selector.
    The selector type may be either text, link, popup link, image, table, element attribute, HTML, element, element scroll down, element click, or grouped.
    Based on the attributes of the sitemap, a selector graph can be generated.
    Click on the Scrape button to scrape the data.
    Then click the export data as CSV button which downloads the scraped data in CSV format.
    Sitemap can also be exported, metadata can also be edited, and selectors can be previewed edited, and deleted.

  7. Another Ian says:

    Might shake a few rafters

    “Fmr Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Shokin files criminal complaint against Joe Biden”



    “The Biden Purpose is Finished – Watch How Fast He Plummets…”


  8. Another Ian says:

    More high quality talent when it comes to the “Hypocritic Oath”

    “Elizabeth Warren makes money from petroleum mineral rights, transfers them to children, then attacks fossil fuels – Life on Hypocrisy Trail isn’t pretty”


  9. billinoz says:

    I dropped by here to give an update on the droughts & fires, rains & floods, climate here in Oz. I see Graeme has given the big picture..but I’ll add a few details :
    1 Mt Barker in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia got 53 mml of rain over 2 days from the 31st. of Jan. to the st. of Feb.. Nice drop & needed ! And on an inspired WTF I went & looked at he BOM’s climate data website just to check if this was ‘Normal’ or “Climate change”.. Well, well well ! It turns out that this has happened 10-11 times in past 160 years. Most recently in 2016. So no it is “situation normal”. The IOD has turned negative, the waters are now warm off the coast of Northern Australia, and the wet season has finally started !

    Meanwhile in East Africa where there were huge floods till a few weeks ago, is now drying out and has a huge desert locust plagues !

    All in all mother nature hard at work ! And confounding the global warming cultists completely. This was not on their script ! Nor the script of Australian Bureau of Disinformation, ( BOM) which said it would not rain till April. Nor the script of Australian Brainwashing Corporation, ( ABC ) which has enjoyed scaring the sh$t out of us all for the past 4 months with dire warnings that we will all BURN !

    As for Canberra burning ? They got their warning in 2003 when the fires came out of the bush and burned suburbs. That should have taught them that fuel reduction burns are part of living on this continent. But the dopey greenist dumbnuts did not want to learn the lesson. So they got a reminder over the past 3-4 days.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    Nice to hear it’s improving!

  11. philjourdan says:

    Another Ian says:
    2 February 2020 at 2:20 am

    Excellent reference Yes, now we see if Biden s a real candidate or just an excuse for coup 2.0.

    But there are problems. And the biggest one is Bernie. The “deep state” of the democrats understand he is a lose, L7. But the base does not see it that way, And without intervention by the rulers of the lemmings, he will get it.

    Warren is toast, Her most effective enemy is herself. Kloblucher is the same. Her staff hates her. Butt-a-what is minor league, but so was Obama. So he is possible, but at least Obama was a SINO (senator in name only). If the leaders destroy each other and butt-a-what is the nominee., at least they will avoid a 72. But other than millennials,no one will want to listen to another millennial who knows not that he knows mot.

    So right now, the democrats have loser 1 – Bernie. Loser 2 – Biden. Loser 3 – Baby face.

    Amy and Liz are just not white or male enough for the democrat party.

  12. Taz says:

    Humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview


    Something is rotten in the state of American political life. The U.S. (among other nations) is increasingly characterized by highly polarized, informationally insulated ideological communities occupying their own factual universes.

  13. Ossqss says:

    FWIW to you. Walmart here cleared the shelves of all ammo for handguns, AR’s etc. and other stuff their PC CEO declared they will not sell anylonger. Heck, they even got rid of the semi auto BB guns. Sold the $50+ guns for $13. Truly amazing and idiotic for the largest ammo seller in the country.

  14. jim2 says:

    Watched a movie the other night called “Kingsman – The Secret Service.” If you haven’t seen it, one refreshing aspect of the movie is the villain is a warmista. I won’t spoil it, but I found it to be entertaining and enjoyable.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    Kilauea Volcano re-inflating with magma, also down in the rift zone where it ate some houses not too long ago…

  16. philjourdan says:

    Catching up on ,my reading – https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/02/02/look-headline-new-south-carolina-poll-is-a-disaster-for-joe-biden/

    I am not the only one that thinks all the polls from the fake news have been put ons. They were just propping up BIden until Coup 2.0 was over, and now they are collapsing.

    Even the idiots on the left are not stupid enough to vote for a moron like Biden.

  17. Larry Ledwick says:

    Chinese doctor who was one of the first to expose the existence of the disease has tested positive for 2019-nCoV himself


  18. Octave fiddler says:

    curious what the racing stocks says. I sold all equities, just to not Worry about crescendo of minimization and then admission.
    A good call thus far…
    I still can’t internalize how to read the various chart ‘signals’.
    Maybe I’m only half-aspie…

  19. Larry Ledwick says:

    Sad news, this item says Rush Limbaugh has lung cancer.

    Prayers for our Rush Limbaugh who has just revealed he has advanced stages of lung cancer. 😥🙏🏻

    #RushLimbaugh has fought for freedom now 4 many years.
    If his voice should be taken, there will be many tears.

    God be with you Rush!

    Did a quick search and found lots of confirmation.


  20. E.M.Smith says:

    @Octave Fidler:

    In big crisis events, professional shorts drive markets down. Watch them covering off a high volume bottom to buy in.

  21. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm this could be interesting if true.

    Word on the street is Democrats are boycotting the SOTU tomorrow night!!

  22. steven Fraser says:

    @Octave Fiddler: Tesla closed up 19+ % today. Something good about earnings will have that effect.

  23. H.R. says:

    Larry L: “Word on the street is Democrats are boycotting the SOTU tomorrow night!!”

    I think President Trump should buy them all a “Not Your President” ring.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    Dear Democrats of Congress:

    Please, Please, Please, DO stay home tomorrow and do not attend the SOTU Address. You are a depressive bunch of sourpusses without a positive thought or motivation among you. The event will be markedly improved by your absence. Thanks!

    P.S. We will do all we can, come the election, to permanently improve your lives by removing the burden of attendance from your shoulders and arrange for you to spend more “quality time” and “with your family”. You deserve it, after all.

  25. H.R. says:

    When weather apps go bad…

    Just checked the weather for Seminole, Florida on WeatherBug

    Current Temperature: 17°F
    Hi 78°F
    Lo -191°F

    Dare I suggest that someone there needs to review their code?

  26. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, this is fun:


    When 90% of mass-shooters in the U.S. are Registered Democrats, it’s time to admit we DON’T have a gun problem in America, we have an epidemic of radicalized democrats
    Posted on June 15, 2017 by avirginiapatriot1776
    In 1963 a radical left wing socialist shot and killed John F. Kennedy, President of the United States.

    In 1975 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at Gerald Ford, President of the United States.

    In 1983, John Hinckley, Jr., in an effort to impress liberal democrat actress Jodie Foster, shot and wounded Ronald Reagan, President of the United States.

    In 1986, Patrick Sherrill, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 15 people in an Oklahoma post office.

    In 1990, James Pough, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 10 people at a GMAC office.
    In 2015, Vester Lee Flanagan II, aka Bryce Williams, a gay black racist, murdered WDBJ-7’s Alison Parker and Adam Ward. He was reprimanded for wearing an Obama badge on the job as a reporter against WDBJ-7 employee handbook regulations. It is obvious that he fits the mold.

    On June 14, 2017, It was a left-wing Democratic activist who gunned down Republican members of Congress and anyone else in the vicinity. It was a fervent Bernie Sanders fan.

    Clearly, there is a problem with Democrats and guns.

    Not one NRA member, Tea Party member, or Republican conservative has been involved in any of these shootings and murders.

    SOLUTION : It should be illegal for Democrats to own guns since being a democrat is a form of mental illness.

    Perhaps so many Democrats can’t believe gun owners can be trusted with responsibility because THEY have no self control and cannot be trusted?

  27. p.g.sharrow says:

    Not all Democrats are Liberal Progressives and not all liberal progressives are democrats. But all Liberal Progressives are Communist Socialists at heart and demand the everyone be FORCED into their way of doing things.

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    Maybe the wrong person was winning?

    2020 Iowa Caucus Live Updates: Delayed Results Lead to Confusion
    Multiple Democratic candidates said they expected to finish strong in the caucuses, though official results appeared to be a ways off.

    By The New York Times
    The release of Iowa caucus results was delayed after inconsistencies in the reporting of data. “This is not a hack or an intrusion,” said a spokeswoman for the state Democratic Party. The party is using photos of results and a paper trail to validate the results.

    Must be those pesky “validations” slowing down the “right” results….

    Iowa Caucus Results 2020: Live
    Iowa Democratic officials say a delay in results is largely because of a “quality control” effort. Initial results reported by The Associated Press have been removed from this page while we wait for party officials to release results. Read more. 12:51 AM ET

    Yeah, quality control, , that’s it! We need more control to pick the right “quality”….

  29. Simon Derricutt says:

    A bit of foot-shooting going on here: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-51366123
    Basically, the UK is intending to stop sales of petrol, Diesel, and hybrid vehicles by 2035 in order that they’re all off the road by 2050. Meantime, of course, there won’t be enough electricity generation to charge them all, and not enough cabling to support the current anyway, since they haven’t yet started to upgrade the grid or build all the generation capacity.

    Meantime, back in reality, it seems the student body have demanded that Oxford University divests its money from fossil-fuel. The response? We can’t do that quickly, but we could turn off the gas central heating right now if you want…. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/02/03/oxford-university-best-response-ever-to-a-fossil-fuel-divestment-demand/ . Given that there are a lot of old and not well-insulated rooms (the one I lived in for a year was build around 1200 or so), the lack of heating would be salutary, as would the loss of hot showers and of course the water-supply is pumped by fossil-fuel derived energy too. Have to get rid of the computers and phones, too. Don’t just study the history of 800 years ago, but live it yourself….

  30. H.R. says:

    p.g. sharrow: “But all Liberal Progressives are Communist Socialists at heart and demand the everyone be FORCED into their way of doing things.”

    The problem with your ordinary everyday Democrat/liberal/progressive/socialist/commie (oops, starting to repeat myself) is that they demand everyone else be forced into doing what they want. They, as superior beings, are exempt from their own rules.

  31. H.R. says:

    Mrs. H.R. and I were discussing the sad state of affairs in the U.S. where a card-carrying Communist is leading the pack for the nomination as the Democrat Presidential candidate.

    One thing I pointed out was the support from young people for all of the Free Stuff Bernie promises, in particular, Free College.

    Without going into why college is so unaffordable nowadays, I said that the appeal to the college-age crowd was from their own, or their friends’ experience with high student loan debt. All too often, they will be paying off a loan for years and often as not, from a lower-paying job they took because they graduated (maybe graduated) with some useless ‘studies’ degree.

    We were marveling that they couldn’t think just one step ahead. All of the free things Bernie promises aren’t free. Someone has to pay and it will be them. Taxes necessarily will have to be raised to pay for the Free Stuff.

    So instead of getting a paycheck and having to use a fair portion of it to pay on a student loan, they will find that their paycheck will be reduced by taxes even more than the amount of a loan payment just to pay for the Free College Education they received.

    They won’t be educated while they are attending college, but they sure will get an education after they get out and start working.
    This goes with my preceding comment. The Dem Socialist Commies think everyone else will be paying for the Free Stuff, not them.

  32. H.R. says:

    And one last surprise for the young Bernie Bots. Commie being Commies, the rules will be changed once The Party is in power.

    The useful idiots won’t get a 5-year vacation taking Studies courses in college. They will be told, “Comrade, we can’t let you go to school. All of these people need to be fed. Instead of college, you have been assigned to drive a tractor on the collective in North Dakota.”

    Surprised Useful Idiot: “You lied to us!”

    Commissar: “Well, yes we did. But it was for the good of the Glorious People’s Revolution. I’m sure you understand and we have your full support, right? Right?!?”

  33. p.g.sharrow says:

    Under our glorious Communist plan everyone will be equal! The Party will supply all of your needs and you will only required to do your fair share of the work, as determined by the Central Committee of The Party Leadership.
    Yeah Right!
    All decisions are final, there will be no opposition permitted, we will determine what is best for you.
    What could possibly go wrong in a peoples Dictatorship? You voted for us at one time

  34. p.g.sharrow says:

    Wow! it finally dawned on me. True communists are different from Socialists.
    True communists expect to labor for the good of the collective and only take the minimum needed to survive. They, after all, only exist for the good of the collective.
    Socialists expect to live like the capitalists while someone else pays the bills. I know a lot of Socialists and their one feature is their desire to live off of the labors of others while demanding that they be exempt from a like contribution to the common good…pg

  35. H.R. says:

    Found this gif in comments on the results of the Iowa Caucus, which is still lacking final results.


  36. E.M.Smith says:

    My God, I think you are right!


    Yeah, they want to run the country, but can’t count folks in a livingroom or barn… can’t choose kids for their team. 3rd grade skills…

  37. Compu Gator says:

    H.R. [said] 4 February 2020 at 5:09 am [GMT]

    Just checked the weather for Seminole [@], Florida on WeatherBug
    Current Temperature: 17°F
    Lo: -191°F
    Dare I suggest that someone there needs to review their code?

    Or maybe someone in Bangalore, hmmm?
    How do you think so many businesses, including those minor on a national scale, have been suddenly able to field single-business “apps“?

    But I’m sure E.M. would have a more current sense of how that’s been going.

    Note @: Clarification: The Florida town or city “Seminole”, which is the place referred to by H.R., is in Pinellas County, not in Seminole County. But more-or-less Orlando-based weather and traffic announcers routinely omit the 2 syllables of that crucial qualifier when referring to the county that forms most of the northern border of tourism-dominated Orange County. It’s not a matter of shaving seconds off their broadcast, because they also routinely use needlessly redundant phrases like “the Central Florida A-re-a” (4 unneeded syllables).

  38. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like another movie you can skip from the “Get Woke, Go Broke” genre:

    “Birds Of Prey”. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7713068/

    Clearly unclear on the character… The wamxn in charge decided that they wanted to avoid the male gaze at their female bodies … so Harley Quinn, who’s whole character is about sexuality in tight shorts and top, gets a makeover. So of course baggy pants and flat tops abound on the female squad.

    Then the “plot” includes complaining about men… and “subtle” instruction on how to avoid “mansplaining” and more (per the reviews I’ve seen).

    Anyone up for paying for an H.R. Film?….

  39. Larry Ledwick says:

    Makes me want to go out and buy a DVD of the original version.

  40. H.R. says:

    @ Compu Gator re code for the WeatherBug app:

    Are you sure that was coded by someone in Bangalore and not by someone at Australia’s BOM?

  41. Compu Gator says:

    Well, well, well!

    While we here were mostly focused on Wuhan flu, I suppose that most of us missed the news that obtaining the results of the Iowa caucus has been delayed, fouled by what the local news-radio station called the “cybernetic coding” [×] of an Iowa-caucus “app“. The station reported that the “app” was insufficiently “tested”. More slipshod programming in yet another newfangled “app“?

    Hillary’s national Democratic Party demonstrated back in 2016 that it wouldn’t dare discriminate against alleged computer experts based on their “national origin“.

    Note ×: Seriously: I’m sure that “cybernetic coding” was the phrase, which I’ve never heard before, altho’ I’m typing it here from short-term memory (could someone please confirm those exact words for me?). It sounds like wording from more than 1/2 century ago, back when terminology was being worked out in the age of vacuum-tube computers.

  42. Larry Ledwick says:

    I think that is the politically correct way to say we used the same web designers who tried and failed to build the Obama care web site without saying we screwed up again.

  43. E.M.Smith says:

    There are 1600 caucus sites. Maybe a dozen numbers from each. Call it 20k data items.

    I could code up the SQL database in one evening. It could run on a Raspberry Pi, the workload is so low. Key in the numbers over the phone with a phone bank and 16 operators. Each entry of 12 numbers would take about one minute. Data entry thus 100 minutes. As each caucus finished at different times, that is easy to accomplish. Given a 3 hour window, you have about s 50% duty cycle. Then you run the report and are done.

    Pretty darned easy.

    But they could not get it done.

    Frankly, I’m pretty sure you could do it with an Excel spread sheet, a fax machine, and a couple of key operators overnight (but OCR would be faster).

  44. p.g.sharrow says:

    This is a Democrat operation. That means that a friend of a friend got a fat contract. Hired a few grad students for a token to do the job. One problem of graft is that even easy jobs are done by incompetents being directed by incompetents…pg

  45. David A says:

    Economics question, This was sent to me by a friend who thinks the ecinomy is on the verge of disaster, and unfortunately I am not even aware of what the “repo” market really is. Is this a legit concern, or is this too much Zero Hedge gloom and doom?

    Thanks for any replies

  46. E.M.Smith says:

    We knew Romney was a RHINO. Now he’s proven it. There’s a FOX interview with weasel Wallace where Romney says he is voting FOR Impeachment.

    He needs to be shunned by any Republican.

  47. Power Grab says:

    Before they launched the Obamacare site, I remember seeing an interview with the programmers. They were so confident and happy about what they had created using the “latest and greatest development tools”.

    I knew it would bomb after hearing that. Our department’s mission-critical software (turn-key, not home-grown), when upgraded around that time, was a nightmare. It’s like their programmers who had worked with us years before to fine-tune it, had been discarded like an old shoe, and the new version was created by newbies who had no experience in the trenches. I’m talking about neither experience in the trenches of folks who work with customers and enter the data into our database, nor programming experience with the previous version.

    Then GDPR raised its ugly head. I have a hard copy of an industry article about how conforming to the GDPR rules makes it next to impossible for even auditors to do their job, let alone the various team members of a large organization. When the mission-critical software of our larger organization was upgraded and the flag went up to re-create a data feed that we had been using with the older database, it turned out that each person of the team had only a tiny snippet of knowledge about the larger picture. I am in flyover country. The most helpful team member I had contact with was in New York, yet the two of us did not have access to see what the other worked with.

    Regarding the Iowa operation, I was struck with the idea that they may have been so obsessed with not allowing any one person to have access to enough of the system to know if they were doing their part right, that no one knew it was bombing out big time. I saw something somewhere in the past week that said they wouldn’t allow the national Democratic organization to test it for them.

    I am also struck with the idea that the DNC functioned rather like the Jamestown settlers. They were all such VIPs and not inclined to get down-and-dirty with real world data entry, that no one had a clue how to create a lean-and-mean system that placed a high priority on efficiency and accuracy of data entry.

    Of course, I am probably wrong. Maybe they used Artificial Intelligence to create it…or just told Alexa to make it happen…?

    It shouldn’t be so hard to create a system that works and is secure enough. Heck, I did a side project using Constant Contact that had sufficient tools to collect the data. Then I could export for use with my normal database tools.

  48. E.M.Smith says:

    @David A:

    Looks like the usual emotional hype stuff.

    Here’s my take on it.

    A repo is an overnight loan against Government bonds owned by the bank. The bank HAS THE ASSETS but needs immediate CASH.

    Why does a bank need cash? They borrow short and lend long. So they take in $ million in cssh with a 60 day limit, then make a 30 year mortgage. What happens when the cash guy asks for the money back? The bank does a repo until they can let some loans run off (be repaid).

    Why might that be happening NOW?

    China has $ Billions in the banks, and is busy buying all the beef, pork, etc. they can as most of their primary meat, pork, was killed of by AFS. To do that, takes $ billions of cash. So they go to the bank and say “We are withdrawing this money on this schedule”. The banks say “OK, and call the repo desk to raise cash”.

    So money market guys are not set up for that much that fast and The Fed steps in as it is designed and mandated to do . The Fed accepts some of the government’s own debt as collateral and issues a currency entry and everyone goes home happy.

    NOBODY is short of assets. All that has happened is that a long debt (bond) has been converted to fast (“short term”) cash. Folks keep their mortgages. Bank keeps running. China takes the cash, buys $ Billions of hogs and corn and soy, and farmers eventually deposit the cash. The banks reverse the repo using the cash, and everyone again goes home happy.

    Maybe will be a double dip on this from the cash hit of nCoV, which will be equally unimportant.

  49. E.M.Smith says:

    @Power Grab:

    About 10 to 15 years ago I was working for a major Florida theme park. They decided to outsource the data center to IBM along with a lot of other backroom tech work. IBM had American sales contacts, but all the tech guys were in India… Aside from just learning to interpret Indian English, and the time zone problems, there were cultural problems with initiative and tools experience.

    But the “overhead and administrative” budget (frowned on by investor bean counters) went down as the contract expense (not frowned upon by investor bean counters) rose more. And the involved V.P.s got bonuses. All while fixing things took a lot longer and reliability was a bit less… but that fell on the contractor, not the V.P.s…

  50. E.M.Smith says:

    No surprise here. Trump just acquitted.

  51. H.R. says:

    Trump should not have been acquitted. The Articles of Impeachment were unconstitutional and should have been thrown back over the fence to the House until they came up with valid Articles.

    There should have been no trial in the first place.

    But, politicians gotta grandstand, so hang the Constitution and let’s put on a show.

  52. Larry Ledwick says:

    Of course the app was created by Clinton insiders

  53. p.g.sharrow says:

    There seems to be several connections between Shadow Inc. and Pete Buttigieg. Maybe this system crash in Iowa is a “feature” to restrain Sanders and help Pete Buttigieg’s campaign.

  54. philjourdan says:

    Re: The Bernie bandwagon.

    The reason Bernie is running, and trying to lose, is due to the Media Buy Commission. For every dollar he spends on advertising, his wife gets 15%. IN 2016, that amounted to about 12.5m dollars.

    This time will be more. He cannot afford to win. And take that huge salary cut.

  55. Larry Ledwick says:


    Catherine Herridge
    ‏Verified account
    4 hours ago
    Breaking: from their press office –

    “Good afternoon, Senators Grassley and Johnson today requested Hunter Biden’s official travel records from the U.S. Secret Service as a part of their ongoing probe into potential conflicts of interest.

    A full news release is forthcoming”

  56. jim2 says:

    Acquittal means there was no crime. I’m happy with that and damn happy this chapter has come to an end.

  57. E.M.Smith says:

    Hey Bidens: BOHICA Baby!

  58. Power Grab says:

    @ EM re:
    “All while fixing things took a lot longer and reliability was a bit less… but that fell on the contractor, not the V.P.s…”

    Was that a temporary condition?

    Even though we started buying turn-key junk twenty years ago, once our people get their mitts on it, we usually figure out a bunch of stuff…even end up creating useful stuff that the vendor ends up offering other customers. At least, that’s our usual pattern. Not sure with GDPR complicating stuff.

  59. E.M.Smith says:

    It was not temporary. Instead of phoning “Bob” in the computer room, you got to fill out a trouble ticket to someone in Hyderabad, who had a few hours to respond snd was likely in a sleep cycle, then schedule a conference csll, get approvals for work from his boss, our boss, and clue in the IBM rep. Etc… Similar thing to close the ticket. What was a few hours could become days.

    Yes, “emergencies” had a fast track, but there were qualifying hurdles. And more “paperwork”…

  60. Another Ian says:

    ” underminder said…

    You’ll like this one Michael, John Kerry just threw them all under the bus.

    Credit to “Stroppy Me” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPnJt34wXxGvH-ZaeTCO1kQ if you don’t follow him you should. He often references your website on his channel. Love your work Stroppy. :-) ”


  61. philjourdan says:

    Subject of outsourcing.

    In General – the IT folks no longer have the same mission statement as the rest of the company. Instead,their mission is to cost the company the most money (regardless of contract since technology does not stand still and most falls outside of the contract within a few years). That is why outsourcing always fails, it is only a matter of time.

    To India – it just takes longer because workers that stay in INdia make about 1/7th of what the American counterparts do. So instead of realizing the futility of outsourcing after 2 years, it becomes 5-10.

    Why is the mistake not caught before it becomes critical? IN this state (Commonwealth) , it was explained this way. The folks who made the decision (the legislature) have pride and egos and an inability to admit mistakes (except as the judge sentences them for their crimes). So until the clowns that made the decision are mostly gone, the decision will not change.

    The same way with private companies. CIOs did not get there by admitting mistakes (but rather by making sure the mistakes were blamed on others). SO until those clowns that made the decision are gone, the decision will not be reversed.

    And the delay in problem resolution? That is what the transition is for. At first it is blamed on the transition and then it becomes institutionalized. And it is always there.

  62. philjourdan says:

    Part 2. I am fortunate in that the last company that outsourced me, brought me back due to “issues” with the outsourcers. But it was not the CIO that I now report to. It is one of the product managers.

    So here is what is happening. Many of my colleagues who were “transitioned” to the outsourcing company are getting laid off, in favor of cheaper India labor. The problem is that the transitioned employees have been doing all the work as the India contingent are all entry level and have no clue on how to do things. But due to the incompetence of entry level staff replacing experienced staff (they only kept about half of the original staff – remember,they promised to do it cheaper), the competent staff have been overwhelmed,so naturally “a pint cannot hold a quart”.

    Now that the delay has been institutionalized, they start stretching it out. Of course the contract has metrics written into it that guard against that, right? Sure. But I recently opened an incident. There is an SLA on that, But when it is put on “hold”, the time does not count. So what happened to that incident?

    It was put on hold “pending resolution”. Which meant that they could not fix the problem (the competent person was not there that day), and they did not want to breach the SLA.

    The sad part is, I have seen that at all 3. The compensation for the “managers” is based on fake numbers. And they never last, But it makes the contract look good, the CIO look good, and no one else happy. And that is why it never lasts. I defy anyone to show me a case of outsourcing (same company) over 20 years old (I would say 10, but then the states move slower than companies).

  63. Larry Ledwick says:

    Plague pestilence famine – – – Hmmmm there seems to be a pattern here?


  64. Another Ian says:

    “Friday Funny: Manntastic claims require Manntastic evidence”


    Malcolm Roberts in parliament

  65. Another Ian says:

    “Climate Activist Plan to Use Dodd-Frank Banking Laws to Force Fossil Fuel Divestment”


  66. ossqss says:

    I just checked the Vegas odds on EM’s possible whereabouts, and it appears the odds have risen on an impromptu road trip to Florida and or the Galapagos islands.

  67. Larry Ledwick says:

    Or he bought a retreat and hired a moving company to haul his stuff out of California.

  68. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well this sucks Robert Conrad has died.
    He was not spectacular actor but I liked the characters he generally played ( Greg “Pappy” Boyington from Baa Baa Black Sheep for example)

  69. Another Ian says:

    I kid you not

    “All forms of Keynesian theory are nonsense but the Milton Keynesians may be the worst”


    And comments

  70. philjourdan says:

    @Larry – Robert Conrad is another one that has hit me hard. I knew he was older (I was still a kid when WWW was on), but he still seemed to be my age. Especially with Baa Baa Black Sheep (and especially since I made the Flying Tigers one of my thesis in history class).

    Along with Kirk Douglas (I knew he was OLD!), it seems all the great ones are gone or soon will be. That is the worst part of growing old.

  71. philjourdan says:

    @Another Ian – I bet Boston College is cringing every time that idiot opens her mouth. I have a degree in economics as well (not from BC), so I know how painfully stupid she is. But she GRADUATED from BC. Even if you are a lefty, you are going to question the education they are providing at that school.

  72. philjourdan says:

    Web site famous for its managers playing dress up as Nazis (for the uninitiated, that is the misnamed Skeptical Science) has blacklisted one of the most reputable and famous climate scientists because she does not toe the religious line. She is not a skeptic. She is a luke warmer – Judith Curry


  73. philjourdan says:

    Ouch! Biden is self destructing. Now attacking his own supporters – https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/02/09/candidate-biden-to-new-hampshire-woman-youre-a-lying-dog-faced-pony-soldier/

    Rule #1 – You kiss their ass and smile DURING the campaign. The smack their face and spit on them AFTER you get the nomination!

  74. Sera says:

    Want to see something really scary….

  75. Larry Ledwick says:

    Crackdown on sanctuary cities appears to be in progress.


  76. Larry Ledwick says:

    The democratic election strategy:

  77. Larry Ledwick says:

    Nifty camper design – not sure I can afford it though.

  78. Larry Ledwick says:

    Okay here comes the push for “smart healthcare on the back of COVID-19


  79. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well this is almost 90 days old and probably got completely lost in the impeachment fuss.
    But tossing it out there for perhaps future reference.

    Did someone make a Chinese submarine go away?
    Did a Chinese submarine have an accident or do an undersea nuclear test?
    Did Iran do an undersea nuclear test?
    So many possibilities, that sort of yield just about has to be nuclear if man made.


  80. tom0mason says:

    to vaccinate or not …

    WHO are controlled by big pharma ?

  81. pouncer says:

    How does an ordinary investor go about finding — or creating — a mutual fund with a novel investment strategy?

    Over and over I see news reports of activists urging institutions (pension funds, mutual funds, university endowments, big banks) to divest from particular classes of business for non-business judgments. “We” say “you” should/must sell your stock in oil companies, or Israeli companies, or restaurant chains paying less-than-politically-determined wages, or for-profit charter schools…

    These demands won’t all be met, of course. But some of them may be. And whenever a politically disfavored stock is sold there must necessarily be somebody buying. The agreed trade price will necessarily favor the buyer financially — the seller trades money for “virtue” or political points.

    So, it seems a funds manager looking for such opportunities could generally come out ahead. Can the common person get in on such thinking?

  82. jim2 says:

    There are a lot of private funds and I’m guessing a good number of public funds will tell the Chicken Littles to kiss A$$.

    If I’m reading this right, private funds hold 14 TRILLION bucks. So, if some idiot(s) divests of perfectly good companies, I’m thinking those won’t hit the floor anytime soon.

    Click to access private-funds-statistics-2019-q2.pdf

  83. Octave Fiddler says:

    Some key racing stocks linkie no workie any more.

    Only in your abundant free time.
    Also, I had some posts ‘in moderation’ that then disappeared.
    Not sure what I did wrong.
    This is another probe of that issue.

  84. E.M.Smith says:

    @all: I am once again at home. Had Valentines dinner w/ spouse, even if I did set a personal best 58 hours door to door to do it! (Orlando to Silicon Valley driving solo).

    @O.F.: I’ll look into it tomorrow. Right now I need sleep. Something about 6 hours in 3 days and catching up…

  85. Simon Derricutt says:

    For those that remember the lawyer Avenatti and the attempt to shake Trump down over Stormy Daniels, some news that Avenatti has had a comeuppance: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51511017 . Looks like it could be a life sentence for the dirty dealings.

  86. Octave Fiddler says:

    Negative perspiration, on links. I bailed and am happy I did.
    No trading on Monday anyway.
    I just wanted to help you with cobwebs.
    Glad you survived the heroic drive.
    No more of those in my future.
    There’s always time for self care, and no one can do it for us really.
    I was barfy for Valentines…
    Some people just know how to party…

  87. E.M.Smith says:


    First you get your licence to do financial stuff from the government, then form a company, consult your finance trained lawyer, then file with the SEC Securities Commission…. once approved, you can fund and form your product. That’s the short form.

    As to out of favor companies, there are thousands of funds in every flavor. Best, IMHO, would be a fund that invests using the Benjamin Graham Value Investor method. The best at this has been Berkshire Hathaway. Don’t kniw hiw it will hold up as Warren Buffet passes, but he claims to gavd the sraff doibg things his way.



    Hope that helps.

  88. E.M.Smith says:

    Three things I like, more important than others:

    Love of another
    Good music (videos!)
    A nice Scotch buzz.

    Best in combination…

  89. Another Ian says:

    More on “tickling the peter” **

    “Marvellous Rwandan press report explains World Bank’s report on aid flowing to private offshore bank accounts”


    (** Slang here for raiding the till etc)

  90. Another Ian says:

    A suggested term for expatriate Californians still with a Californian outlook


  91. E.M.Smith says:

    I think the approved / used term is Californicators.

    Used for decades as in “Don’t Californicate Oregon” from conservative Oregon of the 70s and 80s (that clearly failed…)

  92. E.M.Smith says:

    Bongino discovers my “Be The Mirror” philosophy to some degree. Also the concept of symmetrical play. Use their rules against them. They slap your cheek, you slap theirs just as hard..

  93. E.M.Smith says:

    An interesting Pigeon trolling:

  94. Another Ian says:

    E.M. FYI

    “The value of a modern economics degree”


  95. H.R. says:

    @Larry L. re Haney ‘suicide’:

    A… i… 1… first…: Welcome back to the “Land of the Living”. Never trust a fart and throw out any pinto beans after 3 days.

    Omigosh! “They” (Deep State, elites, PTB, etc.) are not even trying to hide it anymore!

    “We’re done with playing nice. We don’t care. We don’t have to. We are the rich and all-powerful Elite. You’re dead if we say so. Buckle under, serfs.”
    Ummm… I still think the Elites/PTB/Garden-Variety Dems jumped the gun and should have made sure we were all disarmed before they started the “Bow To Your Overlords” crap.


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